Free Fishing Day, students and community members invited

There are few things as relaxing as fishing. Tossing out a line and waiting patiently for the slightest tug to signal there is a fish hooked. Fishing is an easy, fun past time that many in the Treasure Valley enjoy.

Idaho offers several unique areas to fish including Dan Hansen’s favorite location the Snake River.

“I just started fishing this last semester here in Idaho,” said Hansen, junior criminal justice major and Las Vegas native. “I [fish] over off the Snake River in Kuna.”

Hansen also frequents areas closer to campus, such as Parkcenter Pond and the Boise River.

Saturday, June 14, Hansen and other students staying in the valley over summer break will be able to participate in Idaho Fish and Game’s annual Free Fishing Day. The event takes place every summer and gives individuals from novice to expert the chance to fish for free, without a license.

“I already have plans to go fishing on Saturday,” Hansen said. “I’m planning on going out to the Snake River in the morning and the local ponds in the afternoon, to beat the crowds, hopefully.”

Hansen will be joining several others this weekend in the pastime, as many Idaho ponds and lakes will be flooded with fishermen participating in the event.

While the rules on who can fish will be suspended, all other regulations will remain in place.

“Free Fishing Day allows anyone the chance to fish without having to purchase a license,” said Steve Liebenthal, public information specialist and social media coordinator for Idaho Department Fish and Game. “However, all other rules and regulations remain in effect. Those regulations vary from one body of water to another. However, most of the areas being stocked fall under general rules, which allow for the harvest of six trout.”

According to Liebethal and the Idaho Fish and Game website there should be no shortage of fish available in select locations. Prior to Free Fishing Day certain lakes, ponds and river locations will be stocked with rainbow trout.

All areas where fishing is legal will be open to the public on Free Fishing Day. Stocked locations will offer fishermen a better chance at catching something. The closest stocked location to campus is Parkcenter Pond, 385 E. Parkcenter, an event for this location will start at 9 a.m. and will end at 2 p.m.

Other Treasure Valley locations with Free Fishing Day events include McDevitt Pond in Boise, Fischer Pond in Cascade, Ed’s Pond in Emmett, Mill Pond in Horseshooe Bend, Lake Lowell (Gotts Point) and Wilson Springs Ponds in Nampa and Atwood Pond in Payette. These locations will be open all day for free fishing, the length of Free Fishing Day events and loaner equipment will vary, most events will start between 8 and 9 a.m.

“Obviously these locations are stocked because we want participants to have a good chance of catching fish,” Liebethal said. “Each location also has Fish and Game volunteers who will help people who need some coaching, and there will be loaner equipment on hand. There are no requirements to use the equipment. ”

The department will be lending out equipment; fishing poles and nets, for the event at these specified locations.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game anticipates a high turnout for the event and is excited to invite experienced and inexperienced to join in the sport.

Idaho is lucky enough to have a healthy fishing environment that supports not only those fishing for sport but the fish as well.

“The fishing is really good,” Hansen said. “The fish are really healthy and they’re biting right now. This is the good time for Idaho fishing.”

Visit Idaho Fish and Game at fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=147 for more locations and times, as well as tips and tricks.

About the author  ⁄ Eryn Shay Johnson

Eryn Shay Johnson

Eryn Shay Johnson currently studies communication at Boise State University (BSU), she has been a higher education student since 2011, but is new to the Treasure Valley. Since moving to Boise, Johnson has jumped into her schooling with both feet, as a media emphasis student she has helped produce articles for the Idaho Press Tribune. Previously, Johnson worked as a special sections intern for the Post Register of Idaho Falls where she previously worked as a news intern. The Post Register helped publish many of Johnson’s works including her article “Good for the Soul: Group uses laughter as path to better health” which was picked up by the Associated Press in July 2011. Johnson has also served as an intern for the Times-News of Twin Falls. She now contributes stories to The Arbiter. As a student at BSU, Johnson aspires to graduate in Spring 2015. Following graduation she plans to continue her writing for news outlets, planning to grow all the while. Her dream is to write professionally for a major city newspaper, ultimately she wants to write a Pulitzer Prize winning piece. Johnson was a member of the Associate Students of the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) and served as both Advertising Senator and Off Campus Relations Senator. She graduated from CSI May 2013 with her Associate Degree in Communication Studies. She is a native of Idaho Falls and comes from a small family, her only sibling is her twin brother Damon who serves the United States Air Force.